The Michigan Wolverines dropped a heartbreaking loss to rival Michigan State on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines got the scoring started in the second quarter when Sione Houma punched in a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Michigan lead the entire game until the unthinkable happened. With 10 seconds left on the game clock, Michigan was forced to punt the ball back to the Spartans (who had no timeouts remaining). The Wolverines simply had to get the punt off, and play a prevent defense that deflated any last second hail mary hope the Spartans had. Unfortunately that plan was spoiled when punter Blake O’Neill dropped the snap, the Spartans recovered it and returned it for a game winning touchdown. There is not doubt that this loss is going to sting for a long time, but on the bright side, Michigan played a great game of football. Let’s see who deserves this week’s gameball.
Gameball: Blake O’Neill, Punter
What?! The guy who “cost Michigan the game” is getting a gameball?! Are you crazy?!
No, in fact I am not crazy, and I have a method to my madness. If you watched the last ten seconds, and only the last ten seconds of Saturdays game, you could absolutely think I am crazy. If you watched the entire game, and every game this season, you might just see where I am coming from. O’Neill, the graduate transfer, has been one of the Wolverines most consistent weapons week in and week out. He constantly is booting punts that flip field position, helping out the Michigan defense. In this weeks game, his first punt went 80 yards, driving the Spartans back to their own 1 yard line. His average punt this week was 44.6 yards, and he pinned the Spartans inside their own 20, 3 separate times.
Now I understand there are a few guys who really stood out on Saturday and without giving them a gameball, you and I both know who they are. The point of this week’s article is to bring some light to this situation. The fact that O’Neill is receiving death threats is just absolutely absurd. I understand it is easy to look at that final play, and put it all on O’Neill, but we shouldn’t. The truth is, if Michigan is able to run the ball on their final possession, and move the chains, O’Neill is never in that situation. Why not be upset at the offensive line? Why not be upset at the runningbacks? Blake has been pure gold for the Wolverines this season, and I can’t wait to see him bounce back in two weeks when Michigan travels to Minnesota to take on the Gophers. Go Blue!
Who would you award a gameball to?